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Monday, April 21, 2014
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Legislature endorses plan to haul waste to Fulton County landfill

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - Updated: 7:58 PM

By LAUREN LEWIS

For the C-S-E

FONDA -- At a special meeting Tuesday, the Montgomery County Legislature endorsed a plan to haul its garbage to Fulton County’s landfill.

The tentative agreement says that Montgomery County will pay the Fulton County direct haul rate of $33 a ton, plus a fee of between 12 and 15 percent, which would put the bill in the ballpark of $38 a ton, county Executive Matthew Ossenfort said. 

The agreement still needs approval from both counties’ governments. Late last month, a committee of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors took no action on a resolution authorizing its chairman to sign the contract. Chairman Richard Argotsinger said he expects the resolution will reappear before the committee.

The charter says the executive will make, sign and implement all contracts on behalf of the county within authorized appropriations, so the legislature’s action Tuesday appears to be ceremonial. 

“I believe Fulton County wanted to see the agreement had support prior to acting, and we do support it, so we passed this with full board sponsorship,” said legislature Chairman Thomas Quackenbush.

Contract powers were the subject of a debate at a committee meeting last month. As previously noted, contract powers are delegated to the executive, but there was a question whether there should be a check and balance from the legislature.

With the pending dissolution of Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority, Ossenfort said the 10-year inter-municipal agreement will provide stability regarding waste disposal, and addresses the need for a long-term solid waste plan.

“This has certainly been a long time coming,” Ossenfort said. “I think we have reached a good deal here.”

The next step in the process will be determining how the county controls its transfer stations.

“Are we going to create a department within the county to handle it or a public-private partnership?” Ossenfort said. “We’re going to try to budget this down to the penny. I think we’ll let the numbers dictate where we go.”

It will take a few weeks to run the numbers and decide which avenue is the best for the county to take. 

“Anyone who tells you they know which is better at the moment isn’t probably telling you the whole truth,” Ossenfort said. “Because I don’t even have those numbers.”

MOSA’s dissolution requires state legislation, and Ossenfort is hopeful that it will get done before the expiration of MOSA’s April 30 service agreement.

“This is a huge step forward to be just over a month in and to be able to put this piece of it behind us,” Ossenfort said. “This is great news. I’m proud of this agreement.”

     

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